Game: Bank Heist
- Publisher: Lonely Hero Games
- Designed by: Chris Kincaid and Jared Kaplan
- Ages 13+
- 5-8 players
- 30-60 minutes
13 years on the force. 13 years and this is my chance to stop the Crew. Yeah, that Crew. Even Sticky-Fingers McGreary was with them this time. My partner and I went undercover for our chance to stop this gang from running away with all the money. Then it all went South.
Little did I know that there were rival thieves on this heist, ready to turn on the crew. We had just gotten into the getaway vehicle in hopes to make it back to the hideout and out came the guns. Accusations were flying everywhere, but bullets were flying even more. I took one to the chest. Luckily my bulletproof vest stopped the bullet. I revealed myself and returned fire. Down went McGreary.
Sadly my partner was stabbed by a rival and bled out. You’ll be remembered Elijah. I’ll be sure to bury your Legos with you, except for the Star Wars ones. Those are just too nice to put in the ground. With the next couple actions I had put handcuffs on a couple of the Crew. I also had some help from a Rival who had a guilty conscience for what life they had led. I guess that talk about ice cream after the game made him change his mind. With only a couple miles left, we were gonna make it, and we did. Your death wasn’t in vain, Elijah. Rest in peace, fellow agent.
Bank Heist is game where elimination doesn’t happen until the final act. In the beginning you are given a role. These roles could be:
- The Crew, a tatooed syndicate of thieves eager to score big
- The Rivals, a couple no-good bad guys who like to get their gun off
- The Agents, a couple of good guys trying to show that crime doesn’t pay
The Rivals know who their fellow Rivals are. The Agents know who their fellow Agents are and the Crew knows nothing. Out of the eight roles there are 3 Crew and a sticky-finger crew member, two Rivals and two Agents.
The game then leads to safe cracking to decide which player goes first. Three numbers will come out and whoever can answer the multiplication of the numbers is the first player. A suggestion when playing with eight year olds is to make it an addition problem and maybe four of the ten numbers. If someone says the incorrect answer, the round moves closer to the agents winning.
The first one or two rounds, depending on player count, is the silent phase. Each player will draw a card from the vault. The vault is definitely an odd vault as you will find zip ties, knives, extra bullets and more, but the important piece is the cash bag. When you draw a card, you will look at it and then pass it to a player in silence with no gestures. Then that player will look at the card and if their character sees a cash bag, they will act on what their role tells them they can do. Agents will always keep it and so will the sticky-fingered Crew. Rivals can keep to pay off the invisible getaway driver and win if they and the Crew make it to the Hideout. After those rounds it is the alarm phase. Looks like someone tripped the alarm. Each player will draw an alarm card and play out its action and then draw a card from the vault like normal. Some of these actions will give ninja like reflexes or in my case Hush Money so I can’t talk the rest of the game.
If at any point during the robbery phase five cash bags are put in the getaway vehicle, the getaway phase begins. This is where players will be able to shoot, stab, zip tie and arrest each other. Some players may avoid a bullet with adrenaline. Some may have their turn skipped thanks to some chloroform. When the Crew fires their gun, they can fire once. The Rival can fire twice and reveal themself and the Agent can only return fire if shot at. If for some reason the robbery phase ends without five cash bags the Agents win!
With this being a demo copy, Jared let me know that the final copy will have nice playing style cards and a foldable board to play with. The token for phases will be a wooden marker. Kickstarter backers will also have the chance of getting a print-and-play copy and their own demo copy for one of their reward levels. The game is currently funded.
Our family’s thoughts on Bank Heist
Abigail, 12: It’s fun. I like that you can shoot people and stab people. I like how that it’s not really the roles that make the game better, it’s the people. They make the roles interesting. I like how the different attributes change things significantly. I like it better when its more people playing because it makes it more fun playing. Its guaranteed more people on your side. Recommendation: Buy It!
Beth: This has been a lot of fun for our family. It doesn’t take too long and has a great combination of quiet secretive playing to build the tension and a time for loud accusations. I pretty much love to fool my children during these types of role games, they think I would be good at being evil, but they are glad I’m not. Everyone has a chance at winning and stopping the others. Recommendation: Buy It!
Chris: I had the pleasure meeting Chris and Jared back at a charity convention and had a great rapport with them. I immediately fell in love with the game and how it varied from social deduction. It has that element of who is on your team, but it doesn’t dwell on it until that third act. Up until then you are trying to figure out and hoping you guessed right when the shooting begins. Recommendation: Buy It!
Daniel, 11: I like everything. I like how when it gets into the getaway phase you can shoot anybody you want, and I like how the bulletproof vest on the cops can’t protect them from knives. I like how you zip-tie and you can poison people. I love the crew person and the getaway phase. I like the trigger-happy card because you can shoot people. It’s a lot harder for the crew to win versus the cops and rivals. It’s a lot more fun when you have 8 people instead of 5. Recommendation: Buy It!
Elijah: My favorite character is the Agent. I like how they can handcuff people. I like how you can get stuff from the vault and use it in the getaway phase like the ninja power. I don’t like trigger-happy, because I am not able to zip-tie people or stab them. Recommendation: Buy It!